Government proposes artificial ponds at Durga puja pandal sites
The move is not only aimed at keeping the Yamuna river clean, as was observed after the Ganesh Puja, but is also expected to help reduce traffic chaos as the puja committees would need not go anywhere to immerse the idols.Updated: Sep 21, 2019 04:53 IST
Buoyed by the residents’ positive response and active participation in immersing idols in temporary artificial ponds during this year’s Ganesha Puja festivities, the Delhi government is now planning to dig artificial ponds at pandal sites for the upcoming Durga Puja festival.
The move is not only aimed at keeping the Yamuna river clean, as was observed after the Ganesh Puja, but is also expected to help reduce traffic chaos as the puja committees would need not go anywhere to immerse the idols.
“We are coordinating with puja committees to perform immersions in their own grounds. Those who do not have space for constructing artificial ponds at pandal sites, would be given space in nearby parks,” Saurabh Bharadwaj, AAP spokesperson, said.
A meeting headed by the Delhi’s urban development minister Satyendra Jain was held at the secretariat on Friday to discuss the proposal. Directions were issued to the revenue department, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the irrigation and flood control department in the matter.
“The government will help in digging artificial ponds, fill water using tankers and scheduled the immersions in a systematic way to avoid any chaos. Senior officers have been directed to provide all help to puja committees,” Bharadwaj added.
On the directions of the NGT-appointed Yamuna pollution monitoring committee, the Delhi government for the first time implemented a full-fledged immersion action plan this year.
Idol immersions in the Yamuna were banned and immersion of idols was only allowed in the artificial ponds in 116 sites across Delhi. Compared to the previous years, the Yamuna was found to be cleaner, post the Ganesh puja festivities, this year.
“A list of places where immersion ponds can be constructed, including on-site ponds —where there is enough space on the puja ground— has been handed over to Bharadwaj. For pandals, who do not have enough space, the government will provide alternate spaces,” said Anup Acharya, member of the steering committee on immersions and one of the organizers of a Durga puja in CR Park.
Some of the puja committees based in CR Park and GK 2 have agreed to construct artificial immersion ponds at their respective pandal sites. These committees include the Chittaranjan Park Kali Mandir Society, B-Block Durga Puja Samity and Dakshin Palli Durga Puja Samity among others.
At the meeting, Jain also agreed to provide fire tenders, CATS ambulances and civil defence volunteers at the pandals apart from helping with the pruning of trees, road repairs, making security arrangements and supplying power, and other works before the puja.